National Conference (NC) president Farooq Abdullah on Friday asked the Centre to shun its “stubborn attitude” and reframe its Kashmir policy, saying the people of the erstwhile state were paying a heavy price for it.
He also said peace cannot be achieved through force.
Addressing a party function in Magam hamlet in central Kashmir, Abdullah lamented the “my way or the highway attitude” of the Centre.
“While the government and its air-dropped administration in Kashmir are busy in its usual pomp and show, the people of J-K continue to suffer from rising unemployment, development deficit, inflation, and deepening alienation all at the same time as never before.
“All the democratic institutions in Jammu and Kashmir have been diluted to fit in the vision of a particular political party. There is fear, anxiety, concern, and insecurity everywhere. Our people, particularly our youth, have been pushed to the margins,” he said.
Abdullah, the Lok Sabha MP from Srinagar, said the votaries of a “muscular policy” in Kashmir need to take a step back and ask themselves if such a policy has succeeded elsewhere in the world.
“The post-2019 policy landscape of Kashmir has no space for dialogue. It only relies on obliterating the legacy and icons of the region’s constitutional and historical uniqueness. This has to change. There can be no headway without changing this. Peace cannot be achieved through force,” he said.
Meanwhile, the NC president expressed grief over the loss of lives in the earthquake in Afghanistan.
“I am deeply saddened to hear about the impact of the devastating earthquake that took the lives of at least 1,000 people in Afghanistan. I’m hopeful the people of Afghanistan will not give up in these challenging times. On this sad occasion, we stand with all the victims in Afghanistan and remain in hope for their quick renewal and healing,” he said.